I just received word that the Cardinals will be sending Tyler Herron, Blake King, Arnoldi “Tony” Cruz and James Rapoport to the Honolulu Sharks of the Hawaiian Winter League. That sure beats last year’s group of Marco Gonzalez, who finished throwing in middle relief in AA and Michael Cooper, who was released early in the season. The league starts on the 27th of this month. Mike Budaska, the hitting coach for Memphis, will be the hitting coach for the team.
- Tyler Herron‘s stock slipped this season from last given how hittable he proved to be in AA, but taking his cumulative numbers and neutralizing for park and luck, he did manage a respectable 3.99 FIP. He threw nearly 150 innings, so I would imagine they won’t stretch him out too much in Hawaii.
- Blake King struck out ten batters per nine innings between the Quad Cities and Palm Beach, but also walked over seven batters per nine. Obviously, he’ll be working on his control.
- Arnoldi Cruz got off to a slow start, but was coming on pretty strong in until hitting the DL in July. He was hitting .308/.342/.511 throughout June and July. Not sure if he’ll be catching or playing 3B.
- James Rapoport hit .277/.322/.339 with 23 steals between Palm Beach and Springfield this past season. He struggled to hit in AA. Seems like a Scott Podsednik clone.
It could prove to be a pretty competitive league, with five first rounders going to play, including Buster Posey and Yonder Alonso. We will keep you posted on the Cardinals progress while they suffer for their craft in sunny Hawaii.